What is a breast lift (mastopexy)?
A breast lift in Pasadena is designed to raise sagging breasts without shrinking their size. As women age, gravitational pull and a change in breast tissue will cause them to droop significantly. When skin loses its elasticity and fat from the chest migrates downward, it leads to an overall decrease in breast volume.
Through traditional breast lift surgery, it’s possible to restore both the shape and perkiness of breasts that have changed due to pregnancy or significant weight loss. This is a great source of relief for many women who find these changes troubling.
Sometimes, an implant is also inserted to further increase the volume, size, and shape of the breast while maintaining the benefits of the lift. Dr. Panossian is happy to discuss this option with you as well during your consultation.
Ideal Candidates for Breast Lift Surgery
Breast lifts are typically recommended for women who have sagging or drooping breasts due to aging, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or significant weight loss. Also, ideal candidates for a breast lift procedure are those who want to restore a youthful appearance to their breasts, achieve their cosmetic goals, and improve the symmetry of their breasts.
This surgical procedure removes excess skin and repositions the remaining tissue in order to create a more lifted and youthful look. Patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the surgery. To determine if you are an ideal candidate for this procedure, schedule a consultation with Dr. Panossian.
During your consultation, he will assess your individual needs and help you decide if this procedure is right for you.
How is a mastopexy performed?
Once the surgeon has determined that you are a good candidate for breast lift surgery, the procedure is performed using one of three currently practiced methods. These are based mainly on the degree of breast sagging (or breast ptosis) and the style of the incision required. For breasts with mild sagging (Grade I), a circumareolar mastopexy may be sufficient to elevate the nipple-areola complex to a more aesthetically pleasing position. In this type of breast lift surgery, an asymmetric incision is placed around the existing nipple-areola complex. The nipple is then elevated to the new position, and the incisions are closed in a circular pattern around the new areola.
For breasts with moderate to severe sagging (Grade II or III ptosis), we use a lollipop-style incision to gain greater elevation of the nipple-areola complex. We call this a “vertical lift” or vertical mastopexy. The Pasadena plastic surgeon resizes the areola during this procedure and elevates the breast tissues that descend through the incisions. Lastly, Dr. Panossian removes excess skin in a precise manner without sacrificing breast tissue and fat to augment the volume.
For extremely severe sagging (Grade IV ptosis), we use an anchor-style incision to resuspend the breast tissues, elevate the nipple-areola complex, and eliminate redundant skin. This is the most extreme type of lift for the most extreme type of breast ptosis.
Most breasts are amenable to either the circumareolar or vertical mastopexy (lollipop–style) options. Frequently, surgeons can combine a breast lift with implants to help further enhance breast volume. Dr. Panossian will perform a thorough consultation before surgery to establish the optimal surgical plan that will match your expectations and desires.
What is the Breast Lift Recovery Process?
A mastopexy can take two to four hours to perform in an out-of-hospital setting. We utilize long-lasting local anesthesia coupled with general anesthesia to largely control pain in the postoperative phase. You should have a companion or relative help you in the initial 24 hours after surgery. Your initial dressings will consist of gauze and either an elastic wrapping or a medical bra. We will remove any external sutures during the first post-operative appointment. These coverings will then be replaced within the opening week for a gentle, supportive bra. You will need to wear it continuously for the upcoming three to four weeks.
Your breasts will be bruised and swollen for the first week following surgery. However, pain is minimal. As with other breast procedures, you should plan on staying home for the first week, with very limited activities, including walking, reading, and light duty around the house. Avoid driving during this time and heavy lifting or reaching above your head.
In 2 weeks, you may begin to gently increase your activity, including more extensive walking but no aggressive exercise or weight lifting. Running and other strenuous activities should also be avoided for 4 to 6 weeks.
During your healing process, there may be a diminished sensation in the nipples or breast skin. Much of this effect will disappear as the swelling subsides over the next 6 weeks. Occasionally, the decreased sensation may be permanent.
Risks and Complications
Breast Lift: Risks and Complications
A breast lift (especially when performing breast implant augmentation as well) is not a simple cosmetic breast surgery, but it is relatively safe in experienced hands. Nonetheless, every surgery carries an inherent set of risks and potential for complications. Sensitivity or reaction to anesthesia is a rare possibility with any procedure. Bleeding and infection can also rarely occur. Many times, these two complications are controlled with needle aspiration in the office and/or oral antibiotics. In more severe cases, it may be necessary to perform another brief surgery to drain the blood collection (or hematoma). Or clean out an infection, or administration of intravenous antibiotics. When combined with an implant augmentation, the risk of requiring additional surgery to address these problems may be slightly higher.
Scars are not unusual for any operative process. In a mastopexy operation, the marks can, at times, be fairly extensive. They may bulge or spread out or stretch over time. There exist varied breast lift techniques, but board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Panossian has shaped his own technique for improving the appearance of mammary scars through a combination of technology and tried-and-true techniques that have provided consistently outstanding results (but individual outcomes can differ).
Slight breast asymmetry is always a risk in plastic surgery. After a breast lift, there may be subtle differences between them in terms of breast shape, size, nipple position, or decreased sensation. Once again, these are relatively rare occurrences in experienced hands.
Dr. Panossian has vast experience in minimal-scar breast lift surgery and will be happy to review the various options during consultation. His staff is always available to answer your questions and address problems should they arise. Call today for a consultation.
Why choose Dr Panossian
- He received his medical education at Tufts University School of Medicine.
- Graduated at the top of his class at UCLA, receiving Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude honors.
- Was accepted into an elite combined general surgery and plastic surgery residency at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
- Completed subspecialty training in craniofacial surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and Harvard Medical School.
- Was mentored by Dr. Ron Zuker in the practice of facial paralysis reconstruction. This prestigious fellowship position was available to only one surgeon in the United States.
- Is affiliated with various charitable and educational organizations, including Operation Smile and Mending Kids.
- Is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the highly selective American Association of Plastic Surgeons, reserved for only a select group of individuals nationally who have demonstrated excellence in academic plastic surgery.
- Holds memberships in several other professional societies including the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery.
- He serves on the Board of Directors for Mending Kids and the Gondobay Manga Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of lives in Sierra Leone.
- Has been nominated by his peers annually since 2012 as a “Super Doctor.”
- Served as an expert medical consultant and appeared on The Doctors, Grey’s Anatomy, and Nip/Tuck.
- Has been featured as “Top Doctor” in US News and World Report, Pasadena Magazine, and Los Angeles Magazine.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Lift
The average cost of a cosmetic breast lift surgery varies depending on the complexity of the procedure and the individual patient. Also, factors such as anesthesia fees and surgical fees must be considered. Generally speaking, the cost range goes from $3,000 to $7,000. It is important to discuss pricing with your surgeon prior to undergoing surgery.
During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure. They will also perform a physical examination of your breasts to determine the best course of treatment. Your surgeon may also take photographs of your breasts to use as a reference during surgery. Additionally, they will discuss any potential risks or complications associated with the procedure.
If you are unsure whether you need a breast lift or a breast augmentation surgery, there are a few factors to consider. A breast lift is suitable if your breasts have lost their shape and sag due to factors such as pregnancy, weight loss, or aging. It helps to restore a more youthful and lifted appearance by removing excess skin and reshaping the breast tissue.
On the other hand, breast augmentation surgery is recommended if you desire fuller breasts or want to increase your cup size. This procedure involves the insertion of implants to enhance the volume and shape of your breasts.
To determine which procedure is right for you, it is best to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Panossian in Pasadena, CA. They will assess your specific needs, anatomy, and goals to provide personalized recommendations and guide you toward achieving the results you desire. Remember that you could also be a candidate for a lift with breast implants, so you may benefit from a combination of procedures instead of just choosing one.
Weight fluctuations can vary among individuals after a breast lift procedure. It is important to note that breast lift surgery primarily focuses on reshaping and lifting the breasts rather than weight loss. While some patients may experience slight weight loss due to the removal of excess breast tissue during the procedure, it is not a significant factor in overall weight reduction.
The main goal of a breast lift is to restore a more youthful shape and create perkier breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissues. This uplifting effect can enhance your physical appearance and boost your self-confidence.
It’s essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, to manage weight fluctuations effectively. Consulting with Dr. Panossian at his Pasadena office will allow for a personalized assessment of your specific goals and expectations regarding both breast lift surgery and potential weight management strategies.
Mastopexy is considered medically necessary in certain situations. It is typically recommended for women who experience significant sagging or drooping of their breasts due to factors such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss, or aging. In addition to aesthetic benefits, a breast lift can also alleviate physical discomfort caused by sagging breasts. It can relieve back, neck, and shoulder pain that may result from the weight of heavy or drooping breasts.
Yes, it is possible to breastfeed after a breast lift procedure. However, it is important to understand that the ability to breastfeed can vary depending on the extent of the surgery and individual factors.
During a breast lift, excess skin is removed, and the breasts are reshaped and lifted. While this may not directly affect the milk ducts, there is still a possibility of some disruption to their function. The severity of this disruption depends on the specific surgical technique used.
If you are planning on having future pregnancies and wish to breastfeed, it is essential to discuss your goals with your plastic surgeon beforehand. They can tailor the procedure accordingly to minimize any potential interference with milk production or breastfeeding in the future.
If you live near Pasadena, CA, Dr. Panossian offers breast lift among his services and is conveniently located at 39 Congress St., Suite 402, Pasadena, CA 91105.
Last modified by Dr. Andre Panossian